Friday, December 6, 2019

Do More Streaming

You've been streaming consistently, but you wish you were getting better results. Whether you're not seeing follower growth as fast as you'd like, you're still stumbling while talking to the camera, or the flow of your broadcasts feels stilted and unnatural, there's something about your streams that you hoped would be better by now. But here's the other problem- you don't have any more time you can spend on streaming. You feel stuck, like your Twitch channel is never going to get better because of the rate at which it has to grow. You'll be glad to know that there is a solution here, and it's very simple: Do more streaming. 

"But Nick," you might be saying, "I just said I don't have any more time to commit to streaming!" Yes, you did say that you don't have more time for streaming. I just don't believe you.


Let's do an exercise: No matter how much streaming you do right now, what would it look like if you DOUBLED your output? Whether you're going from one stream per week to two, or one stream per day to two, this probably seems like an unreasonable challenge. But do you know it's unreasonable? What if you had to make this change? Work out the logistics of how your day would have to look in order to make it a reality. Which things would you have to rearrange about your days? Which would you have to give up? Take a while and really think this over.

Your output might be fine right now, but it could be
Double Fine! ...I'll see myself out.
Before we move on, know that you're not alone in thinking this exercise is ridiculous. But also know that there are people out there who do a tiny fraction of the amount of streaming you do, who sweat while thinking of matching even half of your current output. What's their excuse? And at the same time, there are people who produce two, three, four times as much content as you make, who have figured out how to double or triple their output overnight. Don't dismiss this exercise as complete futility. Everything is relative.

One easy way to find more time for streaming is to remove other stream support activities, and replace them with actual on-air hours. Get rid of your channel's Twitter, Discord, YouTube, and anything else stream-related that takes your time, reorganize your schedule, and lump all that extra time you saved onto the end of your streams. The perfect thing about this is, you were already committing that time to stream-related activities, so you can't claim you're losing precious family time or much-needed sleep by streaming more. The time was already accounted for, but now it's just being reassigned. Think outside the box like this, and remove or reorganize other less important things as well, to make way for your new schedule.

So now that you've figured out a plan to double your streaming output, you can put it into action. For two weeks. It doesn't matter what you've got going on this week, or how busy you are compared to normal. As I mentioned in the entry How to Find the Time to Stream on Twitch, you'll never have more time than you do right now. So spend two weeks with this new streaming schedule implemented, and allow it to settle into your life. Only then, after two weeks of having streamed at twice the efficiency, are you allowed to decide whether this new output level is too much. You'd be surprised at the results.


We all have a baseline- the default amount of work that we're able to do per day. But in my experience, this is never a good way to judge what you're capable of- it's merely a fraction of your true potential. As human beings, we think we're smart enough to know our limits, but the problem is: our brains are more often put to work to convince us that we've already reached our limits. I've done this entry's exercise several times in my streaming career, thinking it would be completely ludicrous to double my output at the time, only to later find that the extra time could easily be slotted into my days all along. Your output will always be low if your expectations are low.

Break out of the ordinary. Forget the rules!
Don't stick to a preconceived notion of what's possible. Become completely ignorant about what's possible, and just do as much as you can with nothing against which to measure. See from experience whether it's detrimental to your life, don't just assume. As I've mentioned in previous entries, little insignificant things will always find ways to take up your time if you let them. So just put out as much content as you can. It doesn't matter if people like it, and it doesn't matter if it's even any good. What matters is that you're publishing content to the internet, getting better each time. And you will get better each time. You may not be able to notice the change as it's happening, but it'll be there. You'll be taking control of your own fate, not allowing any excuse to put an asterisk on what you create.

I've now started doing this exercise with all important things in my life, jamming new creative ideas and daily projects into my schedule, or extending existing ones to take more time per day. This kind of thing can make you an incredibly productive person, because even if you only get to do 75% of a certain day's hours, your overall output will still be significantly higher than it was when you had lower standards. Raising your expectations for yourself is dangerous when completely unchecked. But if you back those expectations up with proven experience- being able to point to the last two weeks and say, "I already found a way to pull this off"- then you'll have no excuse to tell yourself later when you feel you can't do it.


If you're concerned about how slow you're growing, either as a channel or as a streamer in general, there are only two things you can do about it: nothing, or something. I've spoken in the past about why It's Okay Not to Grow Your Channel in the fields you don't enjoy, but you can take all that extra time you get from ditching the things you dislike, and put it into doing more of the actual streaming you love! If you want to get results, you need to put in work, and most people miss out on incredible opportunities, simply because they've convinced themselves that there's nothing more they can do. You could always do more, and as long as you're planning properly, you can do it safely and without ruining the other important things in your life. But until you prove this to yourself, you'll be your own biggest naysayer. So convince yourself that you're capable of doing greater things, and you'll be able to shatter the ceiling of what you previously thought possible!

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